Shaken. Stirred. Whatever.

Filed Under (Houston) by dhord on 14-09-2013

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I want to live in Berlin, to speak German and dream in German again. To experience the history, the energy of the German Phoenix.

I want to live in Madrid. I want to talk to the beautiful men there, to learn the new place and the pulse of things.

I want to live in an Atlas missile silo in the Adirondacks, and turn it into a below ground, 100% sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste habitat, and putz around the beautiful countryside looking at the detritus of water powered industry.

I want to live in Melbourne, and listen to the musical Aussie accent, and be in the most sustainable city in the world.

I want to live on the shore of Lake Michigan in Petosky, and watch the storms roll in, and the sunsets across the lake. I want to feel the crisp air in the fall, and the smell of renewal in the spring. I want to eat locally grown foods, and be free of being crowded by a mass of humanity.

But, I love what I do, and where I live, and how well I know this next World City, the Petro Metro, Baghdad on the Bayou, the Big Onion, the Magnolia City, the Space City. I love the polyglot mixture of cultures, and the clear sense that all humans are just trying to make their own worlds a better place. I love never having cold feet. I love the sunshine. I love that a huge seaport is ten miles away, and that this isn’t a waterfront city. I love that the city is starting to grow into a new character; one that is globally oriented with a big side of fried Texas. I can’t give this up.

Forbes names Houston as America’s Next Great Global City

A Map of America’s Future

Forbes names Houston Coolest Place to Live

Business Inside names Houston best city in America

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Seth Rogan, social satirist for a newer audience

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by dhord on 06-06-2013

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My first deep introduction to over the top social satire was “Network”, the 1976 blockbuster that presaged Fox News and the news media as we know it now. Then, the genre satire failed to reach a wide swath of the viewers – seeming to be another film that made no sense, that was just too unrealistic or pointless.

Still, “Network” was a straight forward depiction of industrial and social trends in a completely recognizable setting.

“This is the End”, the new film by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, is social satire that is over the top in a whole new way.

Admittedly, “This is the End” doesn’t initially present itself as social savagery, and is a movie which would normally not appeal to me. However, a promise of free preview passes from Gofobo and an empty evening prompted me to head to the border of Houston’s space/time continuum, sit in a long line of people half of my age until we were admitted (sans cell phones, iPads or anything with a camera. Enforced by pre-9/11 airport security procedures) into a “sold” out house.

I knew who James Franco is. I sort of knew who Seth Rogan is. The rest of the cast was not known to me, but I persuaded Chuck to saddle up the Volt and attend with me.

My sister has long asserted that movie previews that seem compelling have already revealed their entire value to you. Just this moment, a television advertisement for this film appeared during my time shifted viewing of last night’s “The Daily Show”. The trailers give only a hint into what you’re going to experience.

The experience? Probably not for someone who just enrolled in AARP. References to celebrities, films and events that are foreign to me were liberally peppered into a hash of homo-eroticism, outright idiocy, summer block buster blowing up/slashing/terror.


The film’s premise is founded in a universal experience of the Rapture/End of Days. Of the group of friends, all over the top compensating for a lack of friendship substance with declarations of loyalty and affection, only Rogan’s childhood friend recognizes the “signs” of this Biblical horror.

Substantially all of the group’s “friends” are sucked into a raging, angry hole into the core of the planet; the group survives in James Franco’s version of Xanadu on a case of bottled water, several points of illicit drugs and a Milky Way bar while terror reigns all around them. Rather than taking action to preserve themselves during Armageddon, these Gen Y-ers “wait for rescue” with movie props as defensive weapons.

From the point of the Rapture, the film progresses through levels of ridiculousness that would put off most of the story’s intended consumers of the background message. By way of example, my own experience of the film was characterized by revulsion, annoyance and flashes of amusement until an hour later when I was thinking about the film over dinner.

Even during the film event, the endless parodies of a wide range of horror films were clear. Well done, never over done. For most, there were quick singles touching on signal elements of films from “The Shining” to “The Exorcist”. The vapidity of celebrity-centric culture was savage and repeated – even the principal characters acknowledge that they’ve never done anything of actual value for the world. Humans engaged in endless back stabbing instead of working together was another frequent theme, albeit not a new theme in modern post-apocryphal stories.

I couldn’t quite understand the endless, straight faced delivery of homoerotic jokes and banter until well into my post-film dinner. The homoeroticsm is the vehicle for ripping Old Testament belief structures to shreds. Let’s face it, the stories in the Old Testament are quite phallu-centric, as are most ancient belief structures. The Penis is portrayed in pre-civilization as the ultimate power, the ultimate weapon of both creation and destruction, and in our well informed civilization, the broad sweep of people maintain this duality as to phallic relationship. Homosexuality is presented as evidence of being antagonistic to the greater good and to God, and yet penis worship is rampant.

Yeah, I know. I intended that.

By littering this film’s story and imagery with penis references every few seconds, this bizarre social belief in both Christian religion, Old Testament stories and the power of the penis is ripped to shreds by the savage intellect of Rogan and Goldberg. By framing this up within a cast of characters whose sex lives are more important to the common Man than is climate change, genetic modification of food, or corporate theft, that inane focus comes in for a second helping of derision. And then, by the very few who can see these elements on screen experiencing those around them cheering when the “God team” wins one, the utter blindness of Everyman is laid bare.

As a side note, seeing Channing Tatum as a sex slave was a significant cherry on top of this double helping of sarcasm and satire.

Is this what Rogan and his team intended? Or, was this just supposed to be a ridiculous, modern day Blues Brothers romp? The production and story team leave that decision up to the individual viewer and for everyone’s benefit.


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Criminal Catholicism

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by dhord on 12-02-2013

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emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Français : emblème pontifical Italiano: emblema del Papato Português: Emblema papal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regarding the Pope‘s resignation and the ongoing revelations that the Catholic Church has actively concealed and protected known child rapists -

The thing that baffles me here is that this is an organized, criminal conspiracy from the bottom to the top of the organization.

As an example, in Los Angeles, the diocese leadership denied that anything had happened, suppressed witness testimony through threats of legal action or deportation, refused to cooperate with authorities, removed rapists from the jurisdiction and out of the reach of extradition – all the while providing the rapists with a constant flow of fresh victims, providing them housing, room, board, income and facilities through which they could continue raping new victims.

If this organization were moving crystal meth, or guns, or prostitutes, we’d be seeing organizational prosecutions under RICO and similar statutes.

There is no functional difference in the criminality – in fact, the Catholic church seems to have engaged in heightened criminality.

Why, then, are prosecuting authorities not seeking RICO style punishments? Asset forfeitures of the facilities used to facilitate the ongoing crimes, criminal punishments of leadership who directed that concealment and witness tampering be committed, suspension or revocation of tax-exempt status?

We, the taxpayers are PAYING for the Catholic Church’s privileged raping of children.

We allow them to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in lobbying and advertising effort to prevent birth control, family planning, gay rights – and to promote charter schools and tax money to religious schools.

The money that they raise – entirely free of tax and the properties that they inhabit – again, entirely free of tax – are used to manipulate and distort our society, to engage in the knowing facilitation of criminal rape of children, and to engage in suppressing any investigation. Beyond the direct financial costs and opportunity costs, they are ongoingly creating a layer of society members who are deeply wounded, angry and who aren’t able to fully participate in society.

Why is this happening? Why are our prosecuting officers not pursuing all of the remedies that they would pursue if this were some creepy guy with a van?

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